Answered By: Doreen Rogan
Last Updated: Jun 06, 2018     Views: 62

FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  This law protects the privacy of student education records.  According to the US Department of Education, "FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are 'eligible students'."

To protect the privacy of an eligible student, the college must have written permission from the student to release educational records unless it is to a school official that has a legitimate need to know the information, such as an academic advisor.  As instructors, it is important that we protect student grades.  Never post them in an area where other students will see them, and always seek permission from the student before talking with a parent.  For FERPA scenarios with explanations, click here.